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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: right side discomfort

 Amy1 - Tue Feb 22, 2005 12:53 pm

Hello, I have a question regarding some right side discomfort. 3 months ago I started having some pressure on my right side--just under my rib cage. My lower rib cage is also tender--( mainly the right but tender on left as well) On the right side-it seems to wrap around to the exact location in my back--which also may be just a tender rib cage in the back as well. I have mild mid back but maily lower back discomfort as well as shoulder pain--mainly the right one-but sometimes felt in the left shoulder as well. The shoulder pain seems to be coming from the ball of the shoulder but goes down my arm and radiates up to my neck as well. My pelvic bone (both sides) feels swollen at times--and has a kind of stingy feeling. My bowel movements have not ben normal for months now.
I fluctuated between having diarrea and constipation for some time. More often the bowel movements have been somewhat solid--but very small-- short thin strips, with an orangy look to them. I had an ultrasound that came back normal. I had a CT scan that showed very swollen small intestines. I then had a endoscopic biopsy that came back normal-no cancers no celiac sprue. I also had an upper GI series and a small bowel follow through. At that time the swelling had gone way down. Only odd thing about the small bowel test is that I was finished in 15 minutes--I guess pretty fast.
My doctor concluded that I probably had an infection, some type of flu bug in my intestines bc the swelling had gone down and I wasnt testing positive for anything else. He also put me on some meds for IBS bc I had a very bad reaction to an enema--made me almost pass out and or throw up.-- so he thought maybe my bowels were over-reacting. I started taking the Xelnorm? a few days ago which has made my symptoms more predominant--rib cage, pressure and shoulders. Im not in a lot of pain--and still functioning quite normally--although usually pretty tired. But was wondering--if I should still be worried.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:19 pm

User avatar Hello,

Causes of right upper quadrant pain include liver diseases, gall bladder disease, lesions of the hepatic flexure of the colon (carcinoma, diverticulosis, ischaemic colitis, Chron's disease, atypical appendicitis, irritable bowel syndrome or even constipation), renal diseases (pyelonephritis, nephro-lithiasis, hydronephrosis, renal carcinoma or other disease of the kidney or ureter, including obstruction of the urinary tract) or a dissecting aneurysm. Other causes include referred pain from the heart or a respiratory disease of the lower lobe of the lungs (lobar pneumonia or infarction from pulmonary embolism).

The presence of shoulder pain does suggest-pain that is referred through the phrenic nerve. This commonly happens with liver/ gallbladder disease. But can occur with other disease (such as the colon).

Many metabolic diseases can give the same picture including, diabetic ketoacidosis, Addisionian crisis, adrenal tuberculosis and metastatic carcinoma. Infections such as herpes zoster or a subphrenic abscess can also lead to pain in the right upper quadrant.

In either case its probably better to call your doctor.
 pmittles - Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:01 pm


I am a 25 year old white male, 190 pounds. Exercise is probably standard. I am currently on Adderall for ADHD and Trazodone for sleeping. I do know that Trazodone is also an anti-depressant.

I am having the same discomfort that is in the lower right side of my rib cage. It does not go to my back, hips, or shoulder. It is discomfort it is not pain. It merely feels like my liver is being pushed up against my rib carb. It has been happeneing on and off for quite sometime now probably less then 1 year. I am a frequent drinker drinker probably 1 - 2 a day. Any ideas?

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